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Food brings people together like nothing else. We've been gathering around the dinner table for centuries, but now it's been massively expanded. Food festivals are held all over the country to celebrate everything from beignets to boysenberries.

These events began as a way for a specific area or region to celebrate their food culture, but they have evolved into so much more in recent years. Food tourism is a real thing, with many culinary adventurers planning entire trips around these now-highly branded, large-scale festivals.

Top 10 Most Exciting Food Festivals In The US

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1. Picklesburgh - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Top 10 Most Exciting Food Festivals In The US

When this year: July 21-23, 2023

Picklesburgh bills itself as "The Destination for All Things Pickled" for one weekend in July every year. The Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh is transformed into Picklesburgh, complete with a giant flying Heinz pickle balloon. Attendees can expect a variety of pickled foods and cocktails, as well as live demonstrations and pickle merchandise.

Picklesburgh was named the best specialty food festival in America for the third year in a row.

The popular pickle festival, which debuted in 2015, won first place in the 2023 USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, thanks in part to Pittsburgh voters.

2. Windy City Smokeout - Chicago, Illinois

When this year: July 13-16

This four-day event in Chicago combines two things we love: live music and great BBQ. Over 20 of the world’s best pitmasters serve up their smoked morsels, while top country music talent takes the stage. Bands, beer, BBQ – what could be better?

3. Taste of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois

When this year: Sept. 8 to 10

Throughout the year, Chicago hosts a number of large and small food festivals. However, the Taste of Chicago food festival is the midway's main event champion.

Taste of Chicago is not only a major Chicago event, but it is also one of the largest food festivals in the United States. The 2018 edition was attended by an estimated 1.5 million people.

The festival lasts five long, food-filled days. The festival is held in downtown Chicago, with food vendors set up along the lakefront.

Pop-up restaurants, food trucks, and celebrity chef dining experiences await foodies.

The festival takes place in mid-July, and it is perfect for foodies that want an eclectic array of munchies.

4. Maine Lobster Festival - Rockland, Maine

Top 10 Most Exciting Food Festivals In The US

When: late July and early August

Rockland bills itself as the world's lobster capital, and its annual Maine Lobster Festival honors the state's favorite crustacean. Every summer, it lasts five days and includes fresh seafood, a parade, and live music. Don't miss the Maine Sea Goddess Coronation and the Great International Great Crate Race, in which contestants jump from crate to crate and risk falling into the chilly Atlantic Ocean.

5. Eat Drink San Francisco - San Francisco, California

Address: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94109


When: April 14-23, 2023

The Eat Drink SF food festival has been running for a decade and continues to introduce new attendees to world-class restaurants.

The festival is ideal for foodies who enjoy a glass of wine with their meals. The Eat Drink SF festival is fantastic because of the variety of fine dining options.

The festival is not only a great place to discover new foods, but it is also located in the heart of the beautiful San Francisco Bay area. The atmosphere is brilliant for a day out browsing the various food stalls.

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6. LA Food Fest - Los Angeles, California

Address: Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA 91007


When: June

While some food festivals segregate foodies from ritzy chefs, the LA Food Fest brings cuisine back to the masses.

The LA Food Fest is reasonably priced and offers a wide range of culinary delights, from food trucks to pop-up food stalls.

The great food fest honors independent restaurants and chefs. Throughout the festivities, attendees can also enjoy live music and DJs spinning records.

7. Kauai Poke Festival - Kauai, Hawaii

Top 10 Most Exciting Food Festivals In The US

When: June 3

Poke has deep roots throughout the Hawaiian Islands, thanks to easy access to fresh fish along its miles of unspoiled coastline. Poke is a Japanese word that means "cut into pieces," which is how this raw fish dish is served. The Kauai Poke Festival features 20 incredible chefs and cooks who prepare poke dishes for attendees to enjoy.

"Hosted by world-renowned chef Sam Choy," says 10Best contributor Marla Cimini. I've been to this amazing poke festival twice, and each year it grows bigger and more popular! Chefs and home cooks collaborate to create some very creative poke dishes!"

8. Boysenberry Food and Wine Festival

When: March 10 through April 16, 2023, and then weekends through May 7, 2023

This is possibly the most unusual food festival you've never heard of. Buena Park, California, has a rich history, as does its soil. Knott's Berry Farm began in the early twentieth century as a boysenberry (a hybrid fruit with flavor profiles of blackberry, loganberry, and raspberry) farm.

This quickly became a popular destination due to their outstanding fried chicken dinners, which were supported by some good old-fashioned hard work. It would eventually lead the Knotts to build a world-class theme park, but they never lost sight of the fruit that started it all for the ambitious family.

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9. Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

When: November 25th through December 30th

It's all sugar, spice, and everything nice as you sing "Oh What Yum" as you visit Walt Disney World's Epcot International Festival of the Holidays in Orlando. One of Epcot's smaller but still noteworthy festivals, it is a celebration of the season with the added benefit of milder Florida temperatures.

This festival, which takes place around the World Showcase, brings together the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the holidays as you experience traditions from a variety of global destinations.

10. The bite of Oregon

When: September

The Bite of Oregon, the state's largest culinary event, aims to share the region's rich gastronomic culture with residents and tourists alike. Other food festivals feature a lot of foreign food, but this Beaver State event is all about the locals.

The Bite of Oregon brings together local restaurants, breweries, and wineries to showcase their offerings. Even picky eaters will probably enjoy tasting and munching on Dungeness crab, chicken wings, marionberry pies, and other treats. With such a large portion of food, the Bite of Oregon might as well be called Bites.

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